Build Your Own Combat Robot

Author: Pete Miles & Tom Carroll
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne, 2002
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-0072194647
Aimed at: Robot enthusiasts
Rating: 4
Pros: Clear, practical instructions, highly motivating
Cons: Not new, supplier details may have changed
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

A practical book with details of how to build things rather than a glossy coffee table book of pictures of robots damaging other robots.

Author: Pete Miles & Tom Carroll
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne, 2002
Pages: 416
ISBN: 978-0072194647
Aimed at: Robot enthusiasts
Rating: 4
Pros: Clear, practical instgructiopns, highly motivating
Cons: Not a new book so supplier details may have changed
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

I've only recently come across this book - and if you too are enthusiastic about robots and also missed it when initially published you'll be pleased to hear about it. True to the title it is a book about building robots. There isn't much more to add except to reassure you that this is a practical book with details of how to build things rather than a glossy coffee table book of pictures of robots damaging other robots. There are some nice colour pictures though!

The descriptions include simple maths showing you how to work out torques and gear ratios but it's all presented with a clarity that makes you want to build something! My only criticisms are that it's a bit weak on clever electronics and programming and the list of suppliers is US-only. It is also debatable how much use it would be to an experienced robot builder. It's not really an advanced book but there are so many hints, tips, examples and basic theory that you might well find it focuses your mind on your current robotic problem.

This would make a great source book for coursework projects and every school library should have a copy. If you have been thinking of playing with robots then this is a good place to start – even if you never get round to building anything you will enjoy reading it.

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Data Mashups in R

Author: Jeremy Leipzig & Xiao-Yi Li
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2011
Pages: 38
ISBN: 978-1449303532
Aimed at: Existing users of R
Rating: 2
Pros: One innovative and interesting project
Cons: Lacks explanation, second project unimpressive
Reviewed by: Mike James

 

This is an example of the very thin but very [ ... ]



Scalability Rules

Author: Martin L.Abbott & Michael T. Fisher
Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2011
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-0321753885
Aimed at: Web developers, architects and managers
Rating: 4
Pros: Well thought-out, readable style
Cons: Format leads to repetition
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

This small format book is summed up [ ... ]


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